ATLANTA'S PRIDE CELEBRATION was forced to move out of its Piedmont Park home this year because of the drought, but there will be plenty of drag queens, musical performances and other festivities not far from that traditional locale. Set at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center this holiday weekend, official events will take place indoors and outside in the parking lot.
Aside from the location, not a lot has changed with this year's event. Here's a look at some of the main attractions that are likely to entertain fans of any sexual persuasion.
Friday Night Divas: While the rest of Atlanta is watching fireworks, these soulful performers will create some heat of their own at this indoor concert at the Civic Center. The lineup includes '80s popstresses Expose, R&B singer CeCe Peniston, Broadway star and former "American Idol" contestant Frenchie Davis and Motown legend Thelma Houston. 8 p.m. July 4
Music and theater: Two outdoor stages will provide gay-friendly acts all weekend. The Bud Light Stage starts things off July 4 with performances by local funk band Soulhound, followed by a burlesque routine by Moxie Cabaret. The next two days include folk, glam rock and pop performances on that stage as well as the Coca-Cola Stage, which features performances by transgender artists such as Beth Isabell, country cowgirl Kitty Rose and a headlining set by former teen pop singer Tiffany. The weekend also includes queer comedy by Kelli Dunham and a theatrical performance by this year's marshal, Scott Turner Schofield.
Commitment ceremony: Gay marriage may not be legal in Georgia, but that doesn't mean two people of the same gender can't publicly proclaim their love for one another. Preregistered couples will be joined in symbolic matrimony in an interfaith ceremony followed by a reception. 8 p.m. July 5
Parade: The Pride Parade is always one of the biggest attractions of the weekend with elaborate floats and costumed marchers. This year the parade begins at its former ending location at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, then proceeds down Peachtree Street to the Civic Center. Following a slightly different route the preceding evening, the annual Dyke March promotes female empowerment as women of varying backgrounds march to the Civic Center. Parade 1 p.m. July 6. Dyke March 6 p.m. July 5.
Starlight Cabaret: This weekend wind-down event features sassy performances from some of the Southeast's top drag queen performers in the Civic Center auditorium. But it's going to be hard to wind down with these female impersonators stirring up trouble and absurdity. And there's really no better way to cap off the weekend. 9 p.m. July 6
> THE 411: Atlanta Pride 2008. Most festivities are free, but donations are encouraged. $17.50-$50 for Friday Night Divas; $2-$5 for Starlight Cabaret. 6-11 p.m. July 4; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. July 5 and July 6. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 770-491-8633, www.atlantapride.org.
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